Controversial: eating cultivated Parsnip leaves?

I wondered about this when I saw how large the tops were this year. I'd never heard of doing so. Some say don't eat them (because of a rash inducing chemical, a type of coumarin), some say do (they are tasty).

Some that say do say cooked. One actually said raw.

Do any of you have any experience eating parsnip leaves or reacting to them?

Can anyone fill me in on these leaves? I am strongly leaning toward not eating them, but wanted to see what you all had to say.



  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,690 admin


    I've never considered eating parsnip leaves because when they are big enough, there are so many other things to use in the garden.

    It could be that the sap only affects some people and that's why there are differing opinions. I would try a skin test to see if you are affected by the sap before trying to eat it. Eat it cooked first and then move on to raw if you have no reaction.

    We haven't had any luck with parsnips for the past 2 years; not sure why. Fresh seed, waited until the soil was warm, lots of water. I think we have 4 parsnips this year out of the whole bed. 1 last year and it was tiny. Not much for leaf growth on them this year, either. Otherwise, I'd be brave and go try a leaf. :)